EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 378, Number 3, November II 2001
Page(s) 1046 - 1066
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011060

A&A 378, 1046-1066 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011060

Extended gamma-ray emission of the solar flares in june 1991

G. Rank1, J. Ryan2, H. Debrunner3, M. McConnell2 and V. Schönfelder1

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, PO Box 1312, 85741 Garching, Germany
2  University of New Hampshire, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, Durham, NH 03824, USA
3  Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bern, Sidlerstr. 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

(Received 29 May 2001 / Accepted 19 July 2001 )

During the solar flares on 9, 11, and 15 June 1991 the COMPTEL instrument measured extended $\gamma$-radiation in the 2.223 MeV neutron-capture line, in prompt nuclear deexcitation lines and in pion-decay radiation for several hours after the flares. The long-term time profiles can be described by a double exponential decay with decay constants on the order of 10 min for the fast and several 100 min for the slow components. We studied the 11 June 1991 flare in more detail and found that during the extended phase the accelerated proton and ion spectrum is harder, the e/p ratio is lower, and the emission profile is smoother, compared to those of the impulsive phase. Pion-decay radiation was not detected before the onset of the extended emission phase. When comparing the three flares to one another, we found a striking similarity in the time profiles of the nuclear line and the neutron capture line emission. However, the pion-decay radiation varied in intensity significantly from flare to flare. The impulsive-phase emissions of the flares show no such similarity. Our measurements indicate that the processes taking place during the extended phase differ from those during the impulsive phase, or in other $\gamma$-ray line flares. Based on these results long-term trapping of energetic particles from the impulsive phase seems unlikely, as opposed to continuous particle acceleration.

Key words: Sun: activity -- Sun: flares -- Sun: X-rays, gamma rays

Offprint request: G. Rank, gzr@mpe.mpg.de

© ESO 2001